Sunday, 18 December 2011

Discontinuation of Scottish GENES

Hi folks,

In September of this year I launched a sister blog to Scottish GENES entitled British GENES, located at My initial intention was to maintain both blogs, one for those with only Scottish interest, and one for those who may have interests further afoot in the British Isles, Scotland included. British GENES was created because I was receiving more press releases than I could make available on a purely Scottish platform, and I did not want them to go to waste. The new blog incorporates all the posts I make from Scottish GENES, however, pressures on time are now forcing me to make a change which may not be popular for some, in that I have decided to discontinue producing the same content on two different blogs. As such, this will be my last post on the Scottish GENES blog.

Please note though that I will NOT be discontinuing Scottish news! I will simply now be using British GENES as the main portal for all news from the British Isles, and have absolutely no intentions of reducing the amount of Scottish content featured - not least of which because I live and work as a genealogist in Scotland! As such, I would ask that if you have bookmarked the Scottish GENES blog, that you perhaps now consider switching to the British GENES blog instead (which incorporates all the blog posts on Scottish GENES).

As with Scottish GENES you can subscribe for a British GENES daily news feed using links found on the left hand side of the page at If you have also followed Scottish GENES as a Google user, please do consider doing the same with British GENES - it's always nice to see who some of the readers are!

Whilst I know that some will be disappointed by this, it is worth pointing out that I have been covering lots of UK news on Scottish GENES in any event for quite some time, so the change will not be quite as drastic as may at first be perceived. My own ancestry is Irish and Scottish, and so these will be more than fairly catered for on British GENES, trust me! :)

For those who may not wish to follow through to British GENES, a sincere thank you for sticking with Scottish GENES since it was created at the end of 2007 - the blog itself will remain online as an archive of news from the last four years. Don't forget that you can continue to follow Scottish only news in my bi-monthly news column within Discover my Past Scotland magazine (, and my new History Scotland magazine genealogy column starts off in the January 2012 edition! (The Scottish GENES Facebook page will continue for the foreseeable future until I create a new British GENES page to take its place.)

For those who are happy to follow though to British GENES - onwards and upwards, as I have lots of ideas in hand for the coming months for features and other developments...!!! See you there!


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tree View gets new features

With thanks to Mark Bayley of The Genealogist ( for the following:

TreeView Gets Radical New Features 
The highly respected TreeView, a favorite of reviewers has today launched unique new features and “views”. TreeView is free to all. You can access it at and

Five Brand New Views

Custom Tree
For the first time ever online, TreeView has made it possible to draw your own custom family tree. The custom family tree option lets you pick between pedigree, hourglass or full tree view, you can pick the number of generations you want and then the fun begins. Drag and drop anyone you wish around the tree, remove people from the tree by simply clicking the X on them. If you make a mistake, no problem, just click “undo”. You can also upload a picture to include as a background to your tree. This quickly and easily gives you a fully custom layout of your family tree. When you’re happy with the result, you can save your design for later or print it out. (You can select a person within custom tree and easily move them around the chart)

Relationship Tree
Using the Relationship Tree you can select any two members from your tree and generate a chart to show the relationship links between those two ancestors. The chart will appear on screen and from here you can choose to a print a copy.

Ancestor Chart
The ancestor chart shows you the direct line ancestors of a selected individual, with the option to display as many generations as you wish.

Descendant Chart 
Alternatively, the descendant chart shows you the direct descendants of an individual.

Hourglass Tree
An alternative design for your tree is an Hourglass Tree. This chart is a combination of ancestor and descendant charts, including both direct ancestors and descendants of a person for as many generations as you wish.

Brand New Features 

Printing Trees
You can now print any tree. When clicking on the Print icon you will be asked to select one of the following print options;

All in One: This option emails you a PDF of the entire tree on one page, enabling you to send the PDF to your local printer, so you can have your family tree printed on one large sheet of paper.
Several Pages: This option will divide your tree over several A4 sheets of paper allowing you to print from a standard printer at home. The A4 sheets are discreetly numbered and come with a guide, making it easier for you to piece them together once they have printed.

Tree Backgrounds
Now all trees come with the option to customise your background, from a variety of different colours, patterns or even use one of your own images.

Backup/Restore - Routinely save your tree and restore from previous backups or imported GEDCOM files. So now you can tweak your tree without the worry of making a mistake.

Relationship Calculator - You can calculate the relationship between any two ancestors in your tree. Type the name of the two individuals into the calculator and the relationship between them will be shown in the results box. If you are looking at your Full Tree or Pedigree view, click any individual and their relationship to the default person will be displayed in the dialog box.

Friends New Features 
The ability to invite friends and family to view your tree is now free to everyone.

Friends Options - In addition to the access level you can now set a Role for your friends.

Select either ‘Guest’ or ‘Proposer’. A ‘Guest’ can view a limited or an extended view of your family tree. A ‘Proposer’ makes proposals for changes or additions to your tree without changing the data. This provides a safe way for your friends and family to help you fill in the blanks to your tree.


More Napoleonic military records online

FindmyPast ( has added 133,000 new military records for the Napoleonic period of 1775-1817, as supplied by Barbara Chalmers. The following is the description from the company's blog at
  • Army of Reserve 1803: 26,314 records of soldiers who were part of the 1803 England and Wales Army of Reserve 
  • Regimental indexes 1806: 97,463 regimental records of Napoleonic era soldiers from 1806 
  • Foot Guards attestation papers 1775-1817: 9,309 records of soldiers' attestations to the 1st Foot Guard between 1775 and 1817
(With thanks to FindmyPast)


ScotlandsPeople records update

The following note comes form the ScotlandsPeople website ( team:

New Images Will Be Available on ScotlandsPeople From 1 January 2012 We are pleased to announce that the New Year’s statutory images containing records from the Statutory Register of Births for 1911, the Statutory Register of Marriages for 1936 and the Statutory Register of Deaths for 1961 will be released on the site on 1 January 2012.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Start Your Family Tree Week

From Genes Reunited (, news of Start Your Family Tree Week, from December 26th - January 1st:

Start Your Family Tree Week returns!

The festive season is upon us once again, a great time to gather the family and catch up on the year's events. Wouldn't it be nice to create a new story this Christmas, one that involves the whole family?

Introducing the 2nd year of Start Your Family Tree Week!

* Printable charts and question sheets for kids and adults, so the whole family can join in the fun
* Top tips so you can get the very best start towards adding names and growing your family tree
* Daily competitions and quizzes to test your knowledge.

We have some great prizes up for grabs during the week, so don't miss out! Who knows what new discoveries you'll make?


Coming soon from Deceased Online

Deceased Online ( has announced that it will shortly be adding around 1 million more burial and cremation records to the database for the following areas:

Records for the first Yorkshire city in the database
Records for the first city in the database in the North West of England
England's North East debuts with a large dataset
Two more London boroughs' records
More collections from across Scotland

All of these records are planned to go live on the website early in 2012.

(With thanks to Deceased Online)


My Heritage launches mobile tree app

Thanks to Laurence Harris at My Heritage (

MyHeritage unveils innovative mobile family tree app

World’s largest family network introduces new mobile experience for connecting families to their past and sharing special moments in the present

PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – December 15, 2011: MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the release of version 1.0 of its new mobile app that enables families to access their family tree and share special moments on-the-go. Available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android, the MyHeritage family tree app combines advanced touch-screen features and unique social aspects to help bring memories to life for the entire family.

Take your family tree with you

As the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history and keep in touch, so far more than 21 million family trees containing 900 million profiles have been created on MyHeritage. The new MyHeritage app enables family members to access their family tree on-the-go, offering the most advanced smart phone and tablet capabilities for an intuitive user experience. For example, the Pinch Zoom feature enables easy viewing of detailed information about ancestors and relatives, and touch-screen panning can be used to visit any area of interest on the tree. The app shows up to seven generations with photos in stunning graphics, and displays a rich profile for each individual as well. One year in the making, the app was built from the ground up using the most cutting edge HTML5 technologies.

A tool for family communication

The MyHeritage app transforms the family tree into a useful tool for family communication: users can call or email relatives in just one tap and upcoming birthdays and anniversaries are highlighted within the tree. The app also enables users to capture and share family photos instantly – ensuring special moments will never be missed regardless of how far apart family members live. Using sophisticated face recognition technology, the app automatically identifies family members taken in the photo and suggests sharing the photo with them in one easy tap.

Ideal for family get-togethers

With beautiful graphics and all the latest touch-screen features, the MyHeritage mobile app is ideal for people to impress their relatives with their family tree and photos at family gatherings. The MyHeritage app automatically syncs all data, including photos taken at family reunions, weddings and other family events, to users' family sites on MyHeritage - ensuring that all special memories can be shared and preserved for the future. Families can also enjoy the app's fun celebrity look-alike feature based on MyHeritage's face recognition abilities.

“We recognize the growing importance that families place on tablets and smart phones for entertainment and keeping in touch. Our new MyHeritage app shows our commitment to creating the best possible experience for families on mobile devices”, says MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “The app is a natural extension of our consumer offering and supports our mission of enabling families to connect to their past and to each other. Version 1.0 is just the tip of the iceberg – we look forward to adding significant new features in the near future.”

The MyHeritage mobile app is available for free on the App Store and the Android Market. To get started, download the app and log in to your MyHeritage account. New users can sign up for free on, build their family tree and begin an exciting journey into their family history. Version 1.0 supports 14 languages and additional languages will be added in subsequent releases. Further development on a more advanced version, including the ability to edit the tree and sign up to MyHeritage from within the app, has already begun.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. Millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ technology empowers users with an exciting and innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. With all family information stored in a secure site, MyHeritage is the ideal place to share family photos and preserve special family moments. The site is available in 38 languages. So far more than 60 million people have signed up to MyHeritage. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit


ScotlandsPeople beginners tutorial

From the ScotlandsPeople Centre ( in Edinburgh:

Interested in researching your Scottish family history and learning about the records available at the ScotlandsPeople Centre?

Then why not come along to New Register House on Wednesday, 25th January 2012 - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The event will include a presentation about the Centre and our records and a session on the computer search system in the magnificent Adam Dome.

You'll find out how easy it is to start compiling your family tree and get hints and tips to help you with your research. Light refreshments will be served.

Tickets cost £3.00 and must be booked and paid for in advance. To reserve a place, please call 0131 314 4300.

For a limited period we are reducing the price of downloads. From 1st December 2011, the cost of saving a Statutory Record/Census or Wills & Testaments image to a USB stick will be 30p. The cost of saving a Coats of Arms image will remain at £10.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Find My Past - Tay Bridge Disaster

This week's Find My Past trailer:

In this week's episode three people find their connection to the Tay Bridge disaster. Opened in early 1878, the Tay Bridge was the world’s longest bridge at two miles from bank to bank. It greatly reduced the rail journey from Dundee to London. On 28 December 1879, a gale was blowing down the estuary and the bridge could not withstand the force. A section collapsed, taking a passenger train with it into the icy waters of the Tay; drowning all 75 people on board.

The episode airs on Thursday 15th December on Yesterday at 9pm and is repeated daily throughout the following week. Yesterday can be found at Sky channel 537, Virgin TV channel 203 and Freeview channel 12 and there is more info about the series at and their Facebook page at

(With thanks to Lee Washington)


UK national archives brief parliamentary group

The heads of the UK's three national archives met with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History for ninety minutes on December 5th to discuss the future of the UK archive sector.

Aileen McClintock from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland shared news on the transformational effect of PRONI's new headquarters in Belfast, including a growth in numbers visiting the archive, whilst George MacKenzie from the National Records of Scotland discussed the new statutory powers of the NRS to ensure that all Scottish public bodies now have a records management plan. Oliver Morley of the National Archives at Kew discussed the need to maintain a balance between digital access to records and the original documents.

A similar meeting for the national libraries of the UK is likely to be forthcoming in 2012. For more on the archive sector meeting, visit

(With thanks to the National Archives at Kew)


Monday, 12 December 2011

Pupils find famous ancestors

From MyHeritage (

Pupils find Famous Ancestors to Add to their Family Trees

* Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Samuel Morse the inventor of Morse Code, a sailor who fought at Trafalgar and died on the same day as Nelson, a relative onboard the Titanic, and many more

* to be the Principal Sponsor for the next phase of the Making History project which encourages children to research their family history

Making History has just completed a six month pilot project helping schoolchildren to trace their family history. The pilot had a number of sponsors and partners including who helped the pupils to trace their ancestors and also provided the infrastructure on which pupils could input and print out their family trees.

The pupils found famous ancestors and many other interesting connections with history including:
- A family connection to Dame Peggy Ashcroft
- A grandfather in a POW camp in Asia.
- A great grandfather who was a daredevil stuntman who dived into blazing tanks of water and worked once with Evil Knieval.
- A relative who was in the orchestra aboard the Titanic when she sank
- A great grandfather who was a Hussar in WW1.

Pupils used MyHeritage Family Sites to load details of their ancestors. They then added old family photos to make their projects and family trees more interesting. Once the trees were loaded, pupils were then able to easily share what they had found with other family members, and to print out some elegant family trees.

Based on the success of the pilot, Making History is now planning the next phase of the project and has appointed as Principal Sponsor.

Colin McFarlane, founder of Making History, said “We are delighted that MyHeritage will be supporting the project as it expands into its next phase, the support from their team has been of fantastic help to everyone”.

“It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the children, and to help them explore and document their family history” commented Laurence Harris, Head of Genealogy at “Their enthusiasm is contagious and we have all been amazed by the family stories that they have uncovered. We are delighted that our Family Sites software has been selected as the platform on which pupils in the next phase of the project will build their family trees.” has provided each pupil with an Archival document case so that they can keep their family history documents, certificates, trees, photos and other memorabilia, safe and secure.

There will be an end of project showcase event on 14 December at which films of the pupils’ projects will be shown. A number of the pupils will then discuss their projects and interesting ancestors with two family history experts. The “MyHeritage awards for Making History” will also be announced during the event.

For more information contact:
- Kate Miller:
- Laurence Harris:
- John Grubb

(With thanks to Laurence Harris at MyHeritage)


Scottish Register of Tartans revamped

Thanks to Alison Diamond for the following:

The Scottish Register of Tartans has recently been revised and new facilities are now available at to help you search the official Register of Tartans more effectively.

We have expanded the options for searching the contents of the Register, allowing you to search for tartans with a particular colour order or with a predominant base colour. You can still search by tartan name, reference, category or designer.

An additional facility has also been developed so that you can use a known threadcount to compare your design against all the tartans already included on the Register. You may wish to use this facility to identify other similar tartans already registered before you submit an application to register a new tartan.

Please take time to visit the Register and try out these new developments.

We welcome your comments on these new facilities (positive and negative) and invite your suggestions for other facilities that we can consider developing. Please email: or write to:

National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street

Tartan helpline: 0131 535 1388


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Unlock the Past's 2nd genealogy cruise - review

For the last three weeks I have been travelling around New Zealand and Australia, as part of a genealogy cruise and talks tour organised by Unlock the Past ( I managed to make one quick update on our progress whilst at sea (see, but internet access after that was difficult, hence why I'm only getting around to posting this final summary of events now. Here's a quick video to set the scene, depicting a Maori performance of the Haka at the Auckland War Memorial Museum!:

The theme of the cruise was based around Scottish and Irish family history research, definitely the territory of this Northern Irish Caledonian based Paddy, so I was delighted to be invited along! Also part of the talks team were Shauna Hicks, Richard Reid, Keith Johnson, Perry McIntyre, Jan Gow, Helen Smith and Rosemary Kopittke, and I think it is safe to say the thematic territory was safely covered, with many fascinating topics. In addition to talks on board the Volendam, a series of talks were given on shore at each of the stops – Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Wellington, Dunedin, Burnie (Tasmania), Melbourne and Sydney. In total I gave twenty one presentations, eleven separate topics on board ship, and the rest on shore (mainly the Discover Scottish Church Records and Irish Family History Online topics, for which I have written two Unlock the Past published tie-in books). For a brief video snippet of one, see

The whole tour started and ended with day long sessions in Auckland and Sydney, where Rosemary and I were the keynote speakers, but I want to give a special shout also to Brad Manera, who gave the talk that most enthralled me throughout the whole event. On the last day of the tour, Brad described the story of the Japanese submarine attack in Sydney in June 1942, a story I had never heard of, and one which fascinated me, my own father having been a submariner. Brad also spoke on the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese, again reinforcing that I know absolutely nothing of the Australian story of the Second World War – something I seriously plan to rectify. Incidentally, Unlock the Past is hosting a major event in Darwin next February entitled War Comes to Australia – further details can be found at

Throughout the trip I had a chance to talk to both the other speakers and many of those who had signed up for the cruise. I also managed to visit many wonderful locations, including a tour of the last convict ship down under, the Edwin Fox, in Picton (see my video diary at, a guided personalised tour of Archives New Zealand in Wellington (a big thanks here to Graham Langton), including a visit to see both the Maori and English versions of the Treaty of Waitangi (see, the wonderful Auckland War Memorial Museum and the equally splendid Sydney Maritime Museum, including a chance to walk through a second Oberon class diesel powered submarine, built in Greenock – I had previously visited one of its sister vessels in Freemantle four years back. Just for good measure, I also did the Sydney Opera House tour, the single most enjoyable tour of an attraction I think I’ve ever been on!

Genealogically I learned so much on the trip that it would be impossible to include it all in a single post, but I now have a better idea of how to research convict migrants, the Australian and New Zealand archive sector, and a new found respect for the English and Welsh census search capabilities on The Genealogist ( – and keep an eye on FindmyPast in all its aspects (UK, Ireland and Australasia), as there will be lots happening on that front soon! Having been to Oz last October, Toronto in June and now New Zealand, I have also concluded that Largs is the wettest place on earth, and I am now seriously contemplating migration, or even emigration!!!

The cruise itself was superb – we witnessed an active volcano (White Island), the beautiful fjords and glaciers of the sounds to the south of the south island of New Zealand, a helicopter trip over Burnie with my wife and kids, and I also did the following mad jape with my boys at Rotorua, taking my life in my hands on the Sky Swing, much to Alan and Anthea Phillips’ amusement!:

Here's the slightly more up close and personal view, via the inbuilt PanicCam!:

I think my ambition to be the first genealogist in space took one step closer to fruition! (But check out the priceless look on my face when I pull the cord!) :)

One thing that amazed me on the cruise, and something Shauna Hicks has picked up on also (see, was that quite a few cruisers did not wish to purchase certain vital records that may have helped to provide a solution to their brick wall problems. I was quite taken aback by this at first, until it was pointed out to me that the cost of vital records certs in Oz is considerably higher than here in the UK. I had many one on one sessions with cruisers looking for advice on their brick walls, and was as impressed as I was last year at how much they had achieved so far from Scotland and Ireland. Several of the talks I did, notably the church records one, really clicked with many on the cruise, and I’ve thankfully had a lot of good feedback on them. On the back of these I’ve also had a lot of hints from several quarters about the possibility of me doing another book for UTP on Scottish land records, so watch this space...

It was also great to catch up with some past Pharos students of mine (, including Wayne Nolan at Little River, NZ (near Akaroa), and Julie Morgan at Sydney, Oz, and to meet Ben Mercer from Inside History there too – the magazine is now a main fixture of Ozzie genealogy, and an impressive publication (see

There are so many people to thank, I will undoubtedly fail and miss a few, but here goes anyway! First, a big thanks to Alan Phillips of UTP for bringing us out, and particularly for our day out at Rotorua, one of two days I had off, where my family, Alan and his wife Anthea had a lot of fun sightseeing. Secondly, to Rosemary Kopittke – a real hero of the UTP project, partly because we did most of the shore based sessions together, but also for putting together my new Irish book for the company – at Wellington alone we sold over a $1000 worth of stock, and that is as much about how the book looks as what it contains, so a great job well done! A big thanks also to Lynne Blake from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, who got us all to the church on time (i.e. the lecture venues!) throughout our Kiwi trip, and to all the local reps and drivers etc who ferried us from boat to venue – in most cases our shore visits were literally hit and run raids, before getting back to the boat for the all important “all aboard time”, but on each visit I was able to learn something of the local area from some truly well informed people – including a translation of the big political scandal prior to the NZ elections (the teacup diaries!). Thanks to all!

A huge thanks also to the crew of the Volendam – including the Indonesian footballers on the crew who allowed my boys to play a match with them on an open basketball court on the ninth deck at 11.30pm at night on majorly swelling seas - and to Colette of Club HAL for looking after the boys each day! Also a huge thanks to my uncle Billy in Melbourne for looking after us on my second day off, and to my wife's sister Anita and her husband Declan for meeting up with us in Sydney, having flown over from Perth.

Unlock the Past’s next cruise is to Noumea and Fiji in early 2013 – I’m not down for that one, but keep an eye on for further details – should be a lot of fun!

Finally, the biggest laugh from the whole trip came from Shauna Hicks’ partner Max. Each night our cabin stewards would make little towel animals through some weird kind of cloth based origami. Max kept upping the ante with his cabin attendants by making his own animals in retaliation. The one that could not be trumped was when he took a white dressing gown, stuffed it with pillows, and put a hat and pair of glasses on it. When the attendant went into his cabin to leave his next towel based endeavour he nearly had a minor cardiac at what was waiting for him! Shauna told my wife and myself about this over a drink and we could not stop laughing about it for ages!

Further coverage of the cruise can be found at Helen Smith's blog at and Shauna Hicks' blogs at and

Hooroo! :)


Tony Pollard wants to dig up the Falklands

I'm only mentioning this story because I think the ambition here is just fundamentally wrong - Tony Pollard from Glasgow University wants to dig up the battlefields of the Falklands next year during the 30th anniversary of the conflict. The full story is at

I worked in the past on archaeology TV programmes, including Meet the Ancestors and Time Flyers, and undoubtedly there will be much to learn from the sites he wants to look at - but maybe this is one that future generations of celebrity archaeologists can make their name from, when it has further faded into the past?


New Central Scotland FHS publications

From Central Scotland Family History Society (, details of two new publications:

Camelon (Falkirk) Lair Records 1873-1903, 1912-1929 £13.00 for members, £14 for non members plus postage

Complete pre 1855 Burial Records for Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, West Perthshire as well as Bo'ness and Carriden. members price £17.00 and non-members £19.00 plus postage.

Available from, Parish Chest and Genfair


There's been a murder...

A short snippet from one of 21 Unlock the Past ( talks that I gave over the last three weeks at several venues in New Zealand and Australia, and on a boat sailing around the two! This was from the last talk I gave on board the Volendam, last Sunday, and concerns the subject of my next book, The Mount Stewart Murder (History Press, June 2012), about the killing of my three times great grandmother in Forgandenny, Perthshire, in March 1866.

Incidentally, if you are in the Largs or Ayrshire area on January 10th, I'll be doing this talk again for the local family history society - details on my Diary page (see top of blog).


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Tanner Ritchie holiday sale

Tanner Ritchie Publishing, the company behind the MEMSO medieval resources website, is holding a holiday sale for Christmas for its e-books. The company's site, at, is packed with resources for British research, and well worth a look. Here's the blurb:

Holiday and New Year Sale!
All downloads are $10 or less.
CD-ROMs 50% off.
Discounts on Short-Term Access to MEMSO!

It's that time of year again for TannerRitchie's biggest sale. We've added hundreds of new titles and will be adding more during the sale - so be sure to visit regularly.

NB: Recent additions to the site include:

Published December 2011

Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Charles I. Addenda (1625-1649)
Journals of the House of Commons. Edward VI - Charles I, vol. 1 (1547-1628)

Published November 2011

Ecclesiastical records: Synod of Fife (1611-1687)
State Papers and Miscellaneous Correspondence of Thomas, Earl of Melros. With Additional Letters & Index, vol. 2 (1597-1625)
Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland (Treasurer's Accounts), vol. 11 (1559-1566)
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 14 (1513-1522)
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 13 (1508-1513)
Calendar of State Papers, Domestic [Charles II] (1671-1671)
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 15 (1525-1529)
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 12 (1502-1507)
The Great Roll of the Pipe for the First Year of the Reign of King Richard the First, A.D. 1189-1190 (1189-1190)
The Great Rolls of the Pipe for the second, third and fourth years of the reign of King Henry the Second (1155-1158)
The Chancellor's Roll: the Great Roll of the Pipe from the Third Year of the Reign of King John (1101-1102)
Ecclesiastical records: Presbytery of Lanark (1623-1709)
Liber Conventus S. Katherine Senensis prope Edinburgum (1101-1102)

(With thanks to @tannerritchie)


New ScotlandsPeople terminals add further search capability

From the ScotlandsPeople Centre website at

Access to Historical search room records

We now have computer terminals in the Matheson Dome and the Reid search room which give day customers access to some of the electronic records that are available in the Historic search room.

Customers can look up Kirk Session records, Wills & Testaments, Soldiers' Wills, Valuation Rolls, Sasine records and the Scottish Criminal Index without having to go up to the Historical search room.

Screen prints can be purchased - see our charges page for details. For more information, please speak to a search room supervisor.

Comment - this is an excellent development that will make the ScotlandsPeople Centre an even better integrated research hub than before, now that it is providing access to the NRS's Virtual Volumes system. Note that if you only wish to use these digitised records from the NRS's Historic Search Room, they are completely free to access there, whereas a pass into the SP Centre is £15, so plan accordingly!

Chris app available



New ‘ Mobile’ iOS app gives users access billions of historical records to build their family tree on-the-go, the UK’s favourite family history website, has announced the availability of its new mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, with features designed to enable more rewarding discoveries as users build, update and share their family trees.

The Ancestry Mobile app, which has been downloaded globally more than 1.7 million times, is now available for free from the Apple App Store.

This upgrade adds three new features:

* ‘In-app purchasing,’ which allows subscribers to view, then buy fascinating historical records about their ancestors – such as World War I Medal Index Cards, Census records, birth/marriage/death certificates and school yearbook photos, from among billions of historical documents in the collection

* A ‘Shaky Leaf’ hinting feature that employs predictive analytics to suggest possible new connections between a user’s family tree and undiscovered documents in the world’s largest online family history collection

* A new merge feature, which automatically identifies and extracts information about family members from historical records so users can quickly and easily update their family tree

For users new to, the latest iOS app provides an easy way to get started by giving access to relevant historical documents on the site without a subscription. For existing members, the new app enables them to grow their tree using records on the site and share them with others while on the go.

The mobile app offers many of the most popular features available in the online version of’s industry-leading family history website, including the ability to add and edit family information, view and share documents and photos, take and attach photos and create and navigate multi-generational family trees.

To get started, download the free mobile app to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and either register for a new, or log in to an existing account and choose a family tree. subscribers can download family history records in the app free of charge. Non-subscribers pay a special introductory price of between £0.69 – £1.49 for each record purchased through the app’s ‘in-app purchase’ feature. International Commerce & Business Development Director Angela Crouch comments: ‘Our goal with the new mobile app is to enable more people to discover their family history through our billions of historic records, and allow them to share their findings easily with others.

‘”Our ‘Shaky Leaf” hinting feature has resulted in tens of millions of successful family history discoveries online and it’s now accessible to our growing mobile user base.”


Commonwealth War Graves Commission news

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( has announced a new series of signs to unveiled across the UK:

As part of a drive to increase awareness of the number of Commonwealth war casualties buried in cemeteries within the United Kingdom, the Commission has unveiled the first of a series of new signs.

The new signage, in the same style and colours as the Commission uses in places like France and Belgium, will be appearing at hundreds of cemeteries over the next few months and the first was unveiled at Sunderland's Bishopwearmouth Cemetery by Commissioner and local MP, Kevan Jones.

A video on the Commission's work in Scotland is also online at

Finally, the latest CWGC annual report is also now available at

(With thanks to the CWGC)


Guild of One Name Studies - flexible membership

The Guild of One-Name Studies ( has introduced flexible membership joining rates in six currencies:

The Guild of One-Name Studies has introduced flexible membership joining rates in six currencies to enable new members to assess the benefits of the Guild over an extended period. The Guild welcomes as members all who have an interest in one-name studies. It is not necessary to register a study name in order to join. New members can join the Guild either by post or online at

The Guild membership subscription year runs from 1st November to the following 31st October. Renewal subscriptions are payable annually on 1st November. For new members joining the Guild, there is a sliding scale of subscription depending on the month of joining, which offers up to twenty-three months of membership for a single joining fee. Members joining during December and January have the option of paying either up to the next 1st November (ten or eleven months' membership) or until 1st November of the following year (22 or 23 months' membership). Full details of the subscription fees are available below. Payment is accepted in any of the six currencies UK £, US$, Canadian $, Australian $, New Zealand $ or in Euros. Prospective members can join online and pay their membership subscription online.

Month Joined









23 Months








22 Months








21 Months








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19 Months








18 Months








17 Months








16 Months








15 Months








14 Months








13 Months







Nov - Jan

10-12 Months







Cliff Kemball, the Guild’s Treasurer, comemnted, “The new flexible membership rates enable anyone interested in One-Name Studies to join the Guild for an extended period to find out what the benefits of membership are and to experience the services and facilities that the Guild offers.”

(With thanks to Des Gander)